TV Diary: The Bridge -‘Broen/Bron’ Ep1 S.1

Broadcast on DR1 in Denmark and SVT1 in Sweeden (Autumn 2011) BBC4 in the UK

‘The Bridge’ is a crime drama series following both the Danish and Sweedish police investigating the discovery of a body that is found in the middle of on the bridge connecting the two countries. This high concept production was the first creative collaboration between the two nordic countries.

As an audience we are unsure of what is happening at times, which is common with crime dramas. Information is fed to the viewer as it is unveiled. The two investigators, Sweedish Saga and Danish Martin could not be more different. Saga is an interesting character because she doesn’t let herself be driven by emotions, her job dictates her life. I had difficulty empathising with her, whereas Martin, who remains unfazed by Saga’s unusual behaviour and can relax after a day at work was easier to warm to. Blue filters are used in parts but this wasn’t over done as it is in some English speaking crime dramas. It had a generally realistic tone to the piece which certainly helped it feel more engaging.

The second hook of the episode came right at the end. A journalist is locked inside his car with what he things is a bomb. Christian Hillborg’s portray of the journalist is key to engaging audiences. During most of the episode not many close ups are used but in the final scene the shots are kept very close so the audience feels involved in the action. Hillborg’s fear is juxtaposed by the Swedish detective’s impassive phone call to him. Trying to squeeze any information out of him before, as she believes, he dies. Up until the final scene in the car, after it is revealed there are infact two bodies the pace is quite slow. Understandably in a first episode foundations for future subplots had to be established but it was difficult to engage with the multiple story lines. The concept is one understood internationally explaining why adaptations such as ‘The Tunnel’ and ‘The Bridge’ (USA) have been produced.

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